The vice presidential debate was a great example of the power of a good case reinforced by solid preparation.

Governor Mike Pence had done his homework. He had studied the Clinton-Kaine program and their debate style. He understood how Senator Kaine would debate and he was ready for him.

It was said that Abraham Lincoln was the best lawyer in Illinois with a good case and Stephen Douglas was the best lawyer with a bad case.

Tuesday night Pence did well with a good case but Kaine did not do so well with a bad case.

The two men were about even in stature and prestige when the debate started, but 90 minutes later Governor Pence had become a much more impressive leader than Senator Kaine.

There were two clear indications of how much Kaine was on the defensive.

First, he relied again and again on canned responses that were supposed to be clever but came across as robotic and not in touch with the topic at hand. Pence was prepared for this tactic, and he repeatedly pointed out the canned nature of Kaine's answers. It stripped Kaine of a lot of authenticity and reduced him to a normal politician who had been well coached.

Second, Kaine was so hyper and eager to disrupt Pence's presentation that he interrupted an estimated 70 times. His intensity came across as manic and juvenile. Pollster Frank Luntz reported that his focus group believed “Mike Pence is winning because Tim Kaine cannot debate like an adult without interruptions.”

The two men were about even in stature and prestige when the debate started, but 90 minutes later Governor Pence had become a much more impressive leader than Senator Kaine.

As Luntz reported, his focus group voted 22 to 4 in favor of Pence when asked who won.

Remember, this result was in Kaine's home state of Virginia.

The simple fact is that the issues the Trump campaign focuses on are vastly more powerful than the issues the Clinton campaign focuses on. And the Trump facts are vastly more believable than the Clinton facts.

Pence would hammer away at the failure of Clinton’s reset with Russia. Kaine would hammer away at a New York Times article on Trump’s taxes.

Pence went big. Kaine went small.

The country is gravely concerned about jobs, take-home pay, health care, crime and urban riots, terrorism, and other serious challenges. In that environment, big beats small.

And last night Pence beat Kaine.

Newt Gingrich, a Republican, was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is the author of the new novel "Treason" (Center Street, October 11) and co-author, with his wife Callista Gingrich, of "Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History and Future" (Center Street, May 17, 2016).